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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Churchwide Assembly: City project hopes for 'transformation'

The 1997 assembly vowed to be "In the City for Good," a 10-year, $5 million project. Jerrett L. Hansen, project chair and mission director in the Division for Outreach, outlined progress at this assembly.

"It's not meant to be a 'quick fix,' " he said, but to provide support for ministries that will transform neighborhoods into desirable places to live, work and worship. This year more than $350,000 in grants were made to 23 new urban ministry programs that show such potential. Nearly 140 proposals were submitted.

Rosa M. Key, Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, asked the funding team to "make clear the process for urban practitioners to apply for grants.

"As district dean I hear from congregations who feel the synod is letting them go down so the building can be sold and [the money] can go for community development. If our congregations close, the Lutheran church won't be in the city for good. My idea of transformation of life is being Christ-like for children in our after-school and summer programs — children who have either two parents working or two parents on drugs."

Urban convocations for ministries in Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul and New York have been held; they're planned for Chicago, Detroit and Reading, Pa. The project also produced a resource for city churches.


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